RootsTech 2013 Recap
We had an amazing time at RootsTech in Salt Lake City, Utah. Over 6,700 people came out to the conference, drawing an even larger crowd than last year. The first day was a whirlwind as the booth was crowded with people interested in learning more about MyHeritage and Geni. This was the first time we attended as a part of the MyHeritage family and we had an amazing team manning the booth.
It was a blast to meet Geni users and hearing about their genealogy adventures on Geni. Here’s our busy booth on the first day.
Geni Curator Adam Brown spent a lot of time at the booth helping people with their genealogy. He was even able to help connect a new Geni user to the World Family Tree. Special thanks to Adam for hanging out with us!
On the first day, Noah Tutak, General Manager USA for MyHeritage, gave a presentation entitled “Collaborative Genealogy: The Ugly, the Bad, the Good” about the benefits of collaborative online genealogy. He had an amazing turnout and some really great questions from the audience.
Day 2 of RootsTech was Developer Day. Justin Balthrop, VP of Technology at MyHeritage, gave a talk right after lunch on “Building Genealogy Apps Using Clojure and Functional Programming.”
Later that afternoon, Michael Berkovich, Software Architect at MyHeritage (USA), led a presentation called “Family Tree in Your Pocket – How to Build an IPhone App Using Geni API.”
There was plenty to do the second night of the conference. Geneablogger Thomas MacEntee held a fun party for his 50th birthday complete with beaded necklaces, a photobooth and lots of cupcakes and treats.
Friday night was also Late Night at the Library, where the Family History Library was open for extended hours for both experienced and novice genealogists to discover records for their genealogy research. Thanks to the extended hours, some of us on the MyHeritage and Geni teams had the opportunity to do our own family history research at the library. Geni’s Customer Service Manager Charles Edmonds was even able to get some help on finding Jamaican birth and death records.
The best keynote of the conference was given by David Pogue and MyHeritage’s Chief Marketing Officer Ori Soen on Saturday. After an incredible musical number by David, Ori jumped in to talk about MyHeritage’s continued growth and success.
Genealogy blogger James Tanner then joined the stage to share the power of collaboration and automation in genealogy. He also gave a little preview of what’s coming soon to Geni! If you missed it, the video of the keynote will be posted on the RootsTech website very soon.
At the end of the keynote, it was announced that MyHeritage would be giving away free 6-month data subscriptions to the first 500 people at the booth. As soon as the exhibit hall opened, the booth was swarmed by eager genealogists.
Overall, it was an amazing experience and we can’t wait to see everyone again next year. Be sure to check back on Facebook later for even more photos from RootsTech 2013.